Late winter and spring are desert season in Colorado/Utah. While I thoroughly enjoy some cold weather slickrock, it is nice when it warms up enough to get some Vitamin D.
Fruita/Grand Junction has 4 distinct trail systems spread across ~30 miles.
18 Road is a network of mostly flowy non-technical trails that are widely accepted as the kids’ playground. They are excellent for a family or as a warm-up for the other, more challenging trail systems.
Because each of the flow trails is only a couple miles long, we opted to take the long way ’round and go up the Western side of the trail system to the top of the flow. I always forget how strenuous this is and we made one run down Kessel Run and called it good.
Upper Lunch Loops
The top of the Lunch Loops system contains a few blue/black and black trails that were just not in the cards for us after riding 18 Road. We made it a couple miles before deciding to bail out and head to the main parking.
Lower Lunch Loops
The base area of Lunch Loops is substantially more chill and loop options are numerous and entertaining. We ran around the “easy-er” stuff at the bottom and then I trucked up some too-challenging black trails to come back down Tabeguache. I was seeking miles and only found chunk so I ran with it and did the best I could.
The main event for this trip was a kick around the Kokopelli Loops nestled on the edge of McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area. After a warm-up on Rustler’s Loop I jetted up the ridge that starts the Kokopelli Trail. The beginning of the Kokopelli Trail is labelled as Mary’s Loop in this system.
I hopped over to Horsethief, a trail that a friend has said could be the greatest trail in Colorado! I skipped the “drop-in” that has sent plenty of people to the hospital and opted to hike-a-bike the Class 3 scramble down.
A quick 30 minutes later and I was back up the scramble and headed over to Steve’s Loop, a relatively mild trail with some intermittent chunk and some incredible views.
After that was Wrangler all the way to the bottom. There is some guesswork to be done while trying to navigate Wrangler, as it interleaves with an old dirt road that is not nearly as enjoyable as the accompanying slickrock on the trail itself.
Back to the van and we settled in to the nearly 5 hour ride back to Denver.
- 2018 YT Jeffsy Carbon
- Osprey Talon hydration pack
- Specialized Rime mountain bike shoes